Mojo Vision demos the most advanced prototype of its AR contact lens yet
The idea of a contact lens that also incorporates the tech necessary to augment the wearer's reality with digitally-generated content is getting more and more feasible by the year, thanks to increasing sophistication and miniaturization. At least, this is the premise of start-ups such as Mojo Vision, which is banking on converting its current prototype into an actual consumer-ready, opthamologically-approved product over the next few years.
In the meantime, the company is currently previewing its latest breakthroughs by presenting them to some correspondents, Scott Stein included. The CNET editor-at-large was able to confirm that the device's "grain-of-sand"-sized microLED display was able to show him text and images (an iconic one of Einstein and one of a main character from The Mandalorian included) in a clearly usable and visible (albeit monochrome) manner.
This level of function is supported by a microprocessor and pacemaker-like battery found in the lens itself, as in its predecessors. However, what sets this iteration apart is an upgrade to the head-tracking necessary to confer the field-of-view correction, motion-tracking and general 'realism' necessary to make the lens' HTC Vive and holoride team up to build an in-car VR experience"output" as effective and convincing as possible.
It is supported by the tiny gyroscopes, magnetometers and other relevant components that now form part of the veritable circuit-board iris found within the lens itself (which Mojo Vision apparently envisions as becoming camuflaged with a cosmetic one in next-gen working units).
The company plans to leverage and develop these abilities into the seamless and intuitive AR use-cases and applications it imagines the Mojo Lens will deliver one day. They include heads-up-style navigation; health or fitness progress visualizations; or real-time flight info and updates (e.g. seat availability, departure times or delays), all projected into the real as the user moves around as normal.
These next-gen contacts are also now touted as ideal for medical professionals, as it would give them an improved, more immediate and convenient way of streaming patient or medical data right into their field of view. On that note, AR contacts are also now tipped to become a form of next-gen vision correction as well.
Nevertheless, the lens as it stands right now was not ready to be worn on the eye by any means, needing to live in a holder that enabled Stein to peer through it instead. In addition, the telemetry on which its projected images are based are "fed" to it via a larger main processor found in a neckband: mandatory wear for the Mojo Lens demo to work at this stage.
However, the OEM also projects that it will be replaced, possibly even by a wireless connetion to the user's smartphone, as the tech progresses. Then again, it will be some time before Mojo Vision's product is ready to hit the market, and will probably only be available to those who can wear the 'normal' contacts of today in any case.